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Martial Arts Home Study Guide

Starting a martial arts home study routine is a great way to stay healthy and take care of yourself both emotionally and physically, especially during these uncertain times of staying at home and limiting our social interactions. Practicing a discipline of self defense can help you de-stress, release tension, and stay physically active on a regular basis. And there’s nothing more convenient than being able to exercise from the comfort of your home without the need to commute to a school or studio and deal with traffic. Just throw on some comfortable clothing, clear some space, and you’re good to go, right?

Actually, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when doing martial arts instruction online that will help you make the most of your lessons. Use this study guide when learning martial arts at home, or really practicing any form of exercise. These tips will ensure a more enjoyable learning experience and help you better understand the teachings.

Contents on this page:
The Floor Comes First
How Much Space Will I Need?
Create a Distraction-Free Zone
Warm Up Your Muscles
Practice at The Right Time
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Martial Arts Study Guide FAQ

Top 6 Martial Arts Home Study Tips

The Floor Comes First

If you’re going to be studying any kind of martial art at home, you want to think about replicating the same basic features and environment that you’d find in a martial arts studio. The first and most important of these is the floor because that’s where all of our movements begin and it can have a big impact on our practice.

First, make sure that whatever part of your home you choose to follow your online self defense class has a clean and comfortable floor. If you have a hardwood or concrete floor without a carpet or rug, you may want to wear sneakers or fitted slippers to give your feet and joints some cushioning.

Even better, invest in a rug, mat, or a set of interlocking foam pads, which are similar to the ones found in kids’ playrooms, but designed specifically for martial arts. Many Boabom students use them. They decrease stress on your joints, are easy to lay down and put away, and will give definition to your practice area. Also, make sure you have a non-slip pad underneath to keep the rug or foam pads from slipping.

man using martial arts home study

How Much Space Will I Need for my Martial Arts Home Study ?

You also want to make sure your workout area is big enough so that you can fully extend your arms and legs, particularly if you’re going to be kicking or turning. At martial arts studios, and especially at the Boston School of Boabom, we make sure that the space is right for our practice, and you should do your best to replicate that when training at home. While you don’t need a large area for martial arts, you do need to take care that you don’t have any furniture or other objects nearby that could get in the way of your punches or kicks, and be especially careful if you use a staff.

This isn’t just about the danger of injuring yourself or breaking something—though that is something to absolutely avoid!—but it’s also about being able to practice without worrying about accidentally whacking your shin into your coffee table. So take some time to think about the space you will need to practice your martial art so you can fully execute all of your movements without making contact with a lamp, chair, or television!

Also, take a moment before each class to make sure that your space is clean and tidy. The last thing you want in the middle of a class is to step on a lego that your kids left on the floor or knock over a glass of water.

Create a Distraction-Free Zone

No matter which discipline of martial arts you’re studying, you need to be in the moment to focus your mind through the movements and your practice. Just as the space should be physically clean, make sure it is psychologically clean as well. That is to say: free yourself of distractions. Shut your phone off, or at least put it away where you won’t be tempted to check it during your class. If you’re using your phone to stream the class, be sure to silence your notifications. And if you wear an Apple watch or another kind of smartwatch, switch it to airplane mode so you won’t be tempted by its sweet siren song.

When practicing martial arts, it’s important to remain focused. Not only will too many distractions take you out of the meditative state of mind that is so important to a practice like Boabom, but distraction can also leave you more susceptible to injury. A momentary distraction can break your concentration, causing you to land wrong, fail to attend to proper position and alignment, or a number of other issues. While almost all of the time there won’t be an issue, it’s important to take care, especially if you’re executing a fast movement.

Pets, kids, family members, or roommates can also throw off your concentration, so try to stream your online class in an area of your home where you know you’ll have privacy for the duration of the lesson. Shut the door if you have to and make other household members aware that this is your time to focus on you and your self-development. Of course if you need to use a shared space, you can use wireless headphones to help filter out distractions, but always take care to be aware of those around you.

Warm Up Your Muscles

When practicing any form of exercise, it’s important that your muscles are warmed up so you can do your best and avoid injuries. If you’re doing your martial arts courses online, something as simple as walking around your home for a few minutes before the lesson begins can get your blood flowing and warm up your legs, feet, and hips. Doing a little extra movement or stretching before and after a lesson can also help prepare your body for physical activity and cool it down after. In Boabom, we always make sure to start every class with a good warm-up so our bodies are ready for the more precise and strenuous movements that make up the second part of the class.

Practice at The Right Time

If you’re streaming a live class, you obviously can’t choose the time of day for your martial arts instruction. But if you’re practicing between classes, you’ll want to do them at a time when you feel your best. For most people, that means waiting an hour or two after eating a meal, as you’ll feel sluggish or could get a stomach cramp. For any other time of day, you’ll want to do your home training when you’re feeling your best.

If you’re a night owl, then trying to exercise first thing in the morning will probably prove rather difficult for you to get through. Even if you’re a morning person, make sure you move a little bit before starting with strong exercise. Work with your body’s natural rhythms so you’ll feel refreshed after practicing your martial art.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

You don’t have to get fancy with your workout wardrobe when studying doing a martial art home study course, but you should wear comfortable clothing that gives you plenty of freedom of movement. Avoid jeans, chinos, and anything else made of denim or non-stretchy fabric that can make it difficult to execute the moves. Some people prefer natural fabrics and loose clothes, others prefer synthetic and stretchy. Follow your own preference, but whatever you choose, make sure you can move freely, without feeling bound up in your clothes!

There are of course some schools that require you to purchase and wear a specific uniform, but at the Boston School of Boabom we encourage you to wear what is most comfortable for you, and we never require you to purchase any clothes or other additional items.

Some martial arts schools will suggest you go barefoot, but if yours requires you to wear footwear, make sure it’s comfortable and supportive so you can safely complete the moves. Lighter shoes tend to be better also, as they allow you to move more quickly.

If you need orthotics, see how they work during your practice, or try an orthotic specifically designed for sports. And if you have a historical or chronic joint injury, you can try wearing a simple brace that allows for range of motion while providing a little extra support for your joint, especially as you’re getting to know a new martial art practice.

These little details can make a big difference. Putting the effort and thought into preparing yourself and your home for your martial arts study course will give you a much better experience, help you avoid injury, and make you feel more empowered and confident as you progress through your classes.

==> Does Boabom sound like a good fit for you? Learn about our martial arts courses for adults.

Martial Arts Home Study Guide FAQ

How often should I participate in a class if I’m studying martial arts from home?

A. If the martial art home study courses you’re taking are self-paced, meaning you progress through the classes at your leisure, we recommend taking a class at least once a week. Two or three times a week is great, but once a week is enough to reap the physical and emotional benefits and so you can retain your memory of new moves.

One thing you want to try to avoid is letting too much time lapse between classes. With a regular practice your conditioning improves as your body adapts to the movements.

It can also be good to practice the class at the same time and day every week—the regularity of a consistent time can make it easier to keep up a consistent practice. If you can only practice once a week, do it at a time when you’ll know you can fully give the class your attention. It’s better to be able to practice for a half-hour uninterrupted than to try to complete an hour-long class where you’re continually distracted.

Do I need to have prior experience in martial arts or meditation before taking a class online?

A. No! Most martial arts schools offer classes specifically tailored to beginners. Most of the time, all you’ll need are appropriate clothing and footwear, an adequate amount of space in your home training area, and a willingness to learn something new. At the Boston School of Boabom, we go one step further in that all of our classes are progressive, meaning that you learn something new every class, creating a simple way to learn complex movements with nothing more than good teaching and consistent practice.

If you feel like you need extra support, you can check if your studio offers private lessons for martial artists who are training at home. They may also be able to provide you with a video course or dvd set.

Where can I buy mats or interlocking foam pads?

A: Mats and pads can usually be found with workout equipment or sometimes even where toys are sold. You should be able to find them online or at any number of fitness retailers or big box stores. You can also ask the school owner for his or her recommendations.

What are the benefits of taking an online martial arts class?

A. There are many benefits of taking martial arts classes online. For starters, studying martial arts benefits both the mind and body. You’ll learn how to gain control over your breathing and concentration as you dramatically improve your conditioning. Practicing a martial art can reduce stress and help you feel more centered during your day and when challenging situations arise.

Taking an online class also brings convenience. You can participate from the comfort and privacy of your home. You also avoid time spent commuting to a studio or school.

And finally, taking a class online allows you to study the specific style that suits you, with a great teacher, no matter where you live and where the school is located. You have your pick of whatever variety of martial art. Plus, you can add an online class to a separate, in-person practice, whether martial arts courses, yoga, or even at your local gym.

All of these are reasons why the Boston School of Boabom plans to continue offering online classes even as we resume our easy to follow in-person classes.

How do I choose an online martial arts class that is right for me?

A. We suggest deciding first what you hope to gain from studying martial arts. Is it to get into better physical shape, feel more at peace with yourself, or both? Do you want to spar and participate in competitions? Knowing your goals can help you weed through the many choices out there. You also want to choose one that you know you’re physically capable of doing. Some martial arts, such as Capoeira, tend to be more acrobatic, but whatever the discipline be careful as a beginner not to over-exert yourself as injury is the fastest way to end a new martial arts practice.

Also, you need to know if you’re comfortable with a discipline of martial arts that requires you to make physical contact with another person. Many of our students wanted to do martial arts training but had no desire to spar or participate in a competition—they have found that Boabom is the perfect choice because of its non-contact, non-competitive format.